General Prison TalkDiscuss I Know You've Probably Had it with Me... in the Prison Related forums; I've been asking questions, and please....I hope no one here has had it with me yet, but the truth is ...
I've been asking questions, and please....I hope no one here has had it with me yet, but the truth is that I've had this letter sitting my purse for days now and I keep going back and forth. I really want to write this guy, and I start to feel excited about it, then I either read posts about people who have received letters from inmates they haven't written because their address got out, or people who have heard of harrassment and intimidation by inmates, then all sorts of scenarios will run through my head...then I get scared to death to mail the letter and glad that I haven't yet.
I just don't know what to do. I wish there was a way around using my last name, at least initially until I get to know him better and feel more comfortable, but there is no way for me to do that. It wouldn't be hard to locate me or my family because some of them are listed. I know that no one here will have a solution for me, but maybe some words, advice, stories, etc. to push me one way or the other.
How common is it that things turn ugly for penpals...even if the offender is considered violent and part of a prison gang? Good, bad, or ugly...I want to hear it all before I drive myself crazy trying to make this decision!
God you poor thing Don't beat yourself up over this PLEASE, I am in the UK and have never thought about this. Have you thought of getting a PO box number address ? But I am sure others will enlighten you better than I could.
First let me say.... You and all of our members are valued. We understand there will be many different scenario's and questions arise in the process of writing and being friends and in some cases husbands, wife and mother and fathers, etc.. So please do not feel like you are a bother. We are here to help and support one another. Regardless of how many or how few questions you have
I write a guy who was at one point in a very violent prison gang. He has since left that gang and moved on to a better path in his life.
When we first started writing he was a ranked member in the gang, still selling drugs, still hustling and so on....
Never once did it effect our friendship. He was , and still is a good friend.
I never once felt threatened, at all.
If you are using a po box you can tell them at the post office that you have an alias or maiden name and need it also listed on the box so that you get all of your mail. That is what I do ! MY family refused to use my married name, they use my maiden name. So I had to do that when I got my mail. But in all honesty.... they don't pay it much attention... I get mail from people who use to have my box and our names are no where near the same.
Even with using the PO Box.... There is no way they can get your physical address from the post office. That is private information and they will not give that information out.
I can say that after 3 years on this forum I have not met one person where there pen-pal became violent toward them.
In the event you were to ever receive such mail, you can phone the prison and let them know you no longer wish to receive any correspondence from that inmate due to violence in letters, but in all honesty that is unlikely to happen.
Regardless of being solo or in a gang these men and women are in a very dark place and an envelope from someone on the outside is like putting the sun in their cells. It really brightens their day. Mail means a LOT to these inmates. More than you could imagine. It is their only real link to the free world. Especially for those on Seg. It gives them all a chance to mentally escape the dark world they live in for that brief moment that they are reading mail.
I have been corresponding with inmates for at least 10 years. There have been some good ones, there have been some it just didn't work out with and there are some who have been around for a while and we never run out of things to write about. It really is a rewarding experience.
I would give it a go. If you find you are not comfortable after the first few letters.... simply write him and tell him.